All men must strive to be gentlemen, not to prove their masculinity but to show their humanity. In a world where hate, malice, and injustice persist, the gentleman should remain steadfast in being a vanguard of sincere kindness and compassion. However, nobody is born a gentleman; one has to learn and imbibe certain values to truly become one, and so here are 13 ways to become a true gentleman:
1. Do not discriminate.
A gentleman is a fair man; he does not discriminate. He gives people what is due to them and not make biased judgments based on their race, social status, religion, or educational attainment. His eyes look beyond these superficial features and focus on the thing that really makes up a person: the character.
2. Do not practice selective kindness.
A gentleman is not only kind to the girl he is courting, the client he is transacting with, or to the person in power. A gentleman is kind to all people who are deserving of such kindness. He is kind to his family, his partner, the janitor, his boss, the waiter, the phone attendant, the celebrity. A true gentleman does not practice selective kindness.
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3. Always have Respect for breakfast.
“Respect” is a word that a true gentleman does not hold lightly. He shows respect to all those worthy of being respected. He respects one’s gender, culture, religion, hobbies, career, and political affiliation. He is broad-minded enough to know that we live in a diverse world where people should be open to different views and practices.
4. Do not gossip.
A gentleman fights fair; he does not stab other people in the back. If he does not agree with someone’s attitude or remark, he peacefully confronts that person about the matter. He does not take cheap shots at that person by attacking or berating him/her when he/she is not looking. Gossiping is one thing that always remains in a gentleman’s blacklist.
5. Keep your cool.
A gentleman is a man of class, and nothing shows class more than levelheadedness. He does not lose his cool over an accidental coffee spill on his shirt, a slightly mischievous child, or a minor delivery error. He knows the value of patience and the danger of impulsive outbursts. Truly, a gentleman is a master of composure.
6. Be strong enough to show your weakness.
Being a gentleman does not mean that you have to be impervious to pain or insufficiencies. After all, a gentleman is only human. Like any other person, he feels sadness, disappointment, jealousy, anger, and anxiety. A true gentleman accepts that he is susceptible to such feelings and is brave enough to show them to people he trusts.
7. Practice humility.
A gentleman is a confident man, but more importantly, he is a humble man. He does not brag about his salary, properties, intelligence, or physique. He does not see the need to rub his accomplishments in other people’s faces. After all, if one is a true gentleman, his value can easily be seen and acknowledged by other people without him having to boast about it.
8. Be a man of action.
A gentleman lets his actions, not his words, define him. If he decides to do something, he does not merely utter the fact; he executes it. If he says that he will take care of his sister’s cat, then he will take care of it with all his heart, and if he says that he will build his dog a house, then he’ll work his hardest to give that pup the doghouse it deserves. Empty words are not a part of a gentleman’s dictionary.
9. Own up to your mistakes
Gentlemen are not perfect; they too commit mistakes. However, what they do not do is find excuses for the mistakes they make. If a gentleman fails to accomplish something, acknowledges his lacking, apologizes for it, and does what he can to rectify the situation. More importantly, he does not blame others for the mistakes he made; he owns it, and he owns it entirely.
10. Emanate positivity.
Positive people have the gift to brighten up the mood of those around them, so a gentleman does his best to emanate such positivity. Whenever he faces a difficult situation, he does not wallow in misery. Rather, he maintains a warm disposition, or better yet, he makes lemonades out of lemons, encouraging other people to do the same.
11. Take care of yourself.
A person can have all the traits of a gentleman, but if he does not take care of himself, then it is all for naught. Self-care should always be on the top list of every aspiring gentleman. He should make sure that he follows proper hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular physical and mental activities, as well as maintain good interpersonal relationships. Remember, before he can be gentle to others, a gentleman has to be gentle to himself first.
Empathy is the ultimate weapon of a gentleman! He can put himself into the shoes of other people, allowing him to be more understanding and compassionate. A gentleman will not lose temper at the waiter who accidentally spills his order for he knows how tiring it can get to serve customers for hours on end, nor will he act out his anger toward a call center agent because he/she is not the one to blame and is only doing his/her job. A gentleman is aware that everyone carries baggage, so he does not want to add any more unnecessary weight.
13. Be chivalrous, but not sexist.
There is nothing wrong with chivalry. A gentleman should remain courteous and ready to help out people in need, but his actions must always be motivated by nonsexist intentions. It is admirable for a gentleman to open the door, pull the seat, or escort his lady. However, a gentleman does these things because he respects, loves, and cares for his partner—not because he wants to uplift his ego arising from his gender. At the end of the day, the gentleman knows that he must preserve chivalry, not chauvinism or sexism.
Being a gentleman may seem challenging; however, it all boils down to developing the right mindset, attitude, and intention. Follow the steps above to ease your journey to becoming a true gentleman!